In the news

A-1 introduces employee stock ownership program, giving employees a stake in company’s future

A-1 introduces employee stock ownership program, giving employees a stake in company's future


A-1 Global Holdings, Inc., a leading manufacturer of pre–engineered wood trusses and wall panels, today announced the introduction of a company Employee Stock Ownership Plan (A-1 ESOP), enabling eligible employees to benefit directly in A-1’s future prosperity as owners.

The A-1 ESOP will enable employees to acquire at no cost shares of stock in A-1 Global Holdings, Inc., the parent company for all A-1’s manufacturing operations.

“It’s an exciting time to be an A-1 employee,” said Herring, CEO and Chairman of A-1 Global Holdings. “Given our strong growth prospects, creation of the A-1 ESOP recognizes the tremendous contribution our employees have made to A-1’s success.  Participation is going to be both a source of employee pride and financial security for A-1 employees.”

The A-1 ESOP will be governed by an independent trustee to safeguard employee interests. By giving eligible employees a stake in the company, the A-1 ESOP is expected to enhance the Company’s culture and drive future growth. All A-1 employees share the Company’s core values of “Own it, Passionate, Honesty, and Respect.” Now they will be able to live out those values and reap the rewards as Company owners.

“The A-1 ESOP represents the perfect alignment of Company goals, values and rewards,” said Jan S. Beck, President of A-1 Global Holdings. “It makes clear that our people are front and center, and that’s exactly how we want it.”

About A-1 Global Holdings

Founded in 1977, A–1 has over 365 employees is a leading manufacturer of pre–engineered wood trusses and EZWALL®framing solutions. The Company recently reorganized as A-1 Global Holdings, Inc., the new parent company for A-1 Industries of Florida, Inc., A-1 Industries of Georgia, LLC, and all future A-1 entities. A-1 currently has manufacturing facilities in Fort Pierce, Fla., and Bainbridge, Ga., and multiple employment opportunities for candidates who share the Company’s Core Values – Own it, Passionate, Honesty, and Respect.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Mar. 2, 2023|

St. Lucie County community makes its mark on the Interstate Commerce Center

St. Lucie County community makes its mark on the Interstate Commerce Center

From left, Michael Rem of JBL Development, Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson and Sandra Pabon of Itasca Construction Partners sign the cornerstone of the Interstate Commerce Center. Photo by MaryAnn Ketcham

Dozens of dignitaries gathered along Interstate 95 in Fort Pierce on Feb. 15 to add their signatures to a cornerstone for the Interstate Commerce Center (ICC).

Currently under construction at 3800 Crossroads Parkway in the Crossroads Park of Commerce, the 207,458-square-foot Class-A industrial building has 1,300 feet of clear I-95 frontage and is located in St. Lucie County at the northernmost point where I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike intersect.

The facility is being developed on 12.7 acres by JBL Development and will be managed by JBL Asset Management. Itasca Construction Partners is the general contractor. Designed for mid-size users with space requirements from 20,000 to 200,000 square feet, the facility will be ready for occupancy this spring.

ICC is located within one mile of both Exit 129 on I-95 and Exit 152 on the turnpike.  The facility’s location provides for access to Orlando, Fort Myers and Miami within two hours.  When complete, the facility will have 32-foot interior clear heights, a 60-foot speed bay, 60 dock-high loading bays, and several at-grade ramps.  Separate parking areas and entrances for employees will prioritize safety and visitor experience with a total of 302 parking spaces on site.

“There is currently quite a bit of product being developed for large users, so we are very excited to be able to offer attractive Class-A facilities for mid-size users with I-95 frontage and excellent access to both the interstate and Florida’s Turnpike,” said Michael Rem with JBL Development. “These distinctive and desirable qualities are driving interest from efficiency-minded businesses seeking brand exposure and quick access to Florida’s most densely populated hubs.”

“JBL’s choice of Fort Pierce as the home for this excellent facility was a wise one,” said Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson. “Not only is the Interstate Commerce Center located at the northernmost point where the turnpike and I-95 come together, there is easy access to the Treasure Coast International Airport, the Port of Fort Pierce, the Florida East Coast railroad, our safe Fort Pierce Inlet connecting the Indian River Lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean, and our pristine uncrowded beaches.”

“Since the inception of this project, JBL Asset Management has engaged with the St. Lucie County community to ensure the end users at the Interstate Commerce Center will not only have first-class space to lease in a great location but also have connections to the community to assist with employment and business services,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. “Our signatures on the building’s cornerstone are tokens of our ongoing commitment to assist the tenants -- future local employers -- who will be joining us here in the Sunrise City.”

“We are pleased to work with JBL and the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County in taking this top-tier industrial project to market,” said Michael Falk, executive vice president at Colliers. “We anticipate high demand for the facility given its ability to provide for tenants as low as 20,000 square feet with brand new, quality space in Fort Pierce’s booming market with excellent visibility along I-95.”  Leasing inquiries can be directed to Falk at 561.478.6400.

About JBL Asset Management

The project’s sponsor and property manager is JBL Asset Management, a privately held, fully integrated commercial real estate services company.  Founded in 2005 by Jacob Khotoveli, JBL invests private capital on behalf of itself and its investment partners. JBL is based in South Florida and invests in major metropolitan areas on the eastern half of the United States. Led by a skilled and seasoned management team, the company provides in-house professionals for all aspects of the real estate equation.  JBL’s portfolio currently exceeds 4 million square feet of real estate, diversified between asset classes of retail, multifamily and industrial products.

JBL Development, partnered alongside JBL Asset Management, has a proven track record of delivering high-quality projects on time and within budget. The company’s reputation has been built on execution within the industry and its portfolio includes 1,100+ multifamily units in various stages of development, 500,000+ square feet of ground up commercial product, and 400,000+ square feet of commercial repositioning projects.

Avenue Property Group is a boutique real estate investment company, founded in 2010 by Daniel Gohari, that specializes in identifying industrial/commercial assets and executing opportunistic strategies designed to maximize value.  The group’s investment strategy is governed by extensive knowledge of targeted real estate markets across the United States, with a focus on Florida and New York.  The long-term strategic vision is to recognize deficiencies in the real estate and capital markets and implement practical approaches to unlock value.  Avenue Property Group owns and is a partner in over 3 million square feet of real estate and is actively looking for opportunities.

Interstate Commerce Center Leasing Inquiries

Colliers Executive Vice President Michael Falk, Executive Vice President Scott Weprin, and Associate Jonathan Temple represent the property owner in leasing opportunities at the property.  Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 63 countries, its 18,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert real estate and investment advice to clients. For more than 27 years, the company’s experienced leadership with significant inside ownership has delivered compound annual investment returns of approximately 20% for shareholders. With annual revenues of $4.6 billion and $92 billion of assets under management, Colliers maximizes the potential of property and real assets to accelerate the success of its clients, investors, and people. Contact Michael Falk and Jonathan Temple at 561.478.6400 or [email protected] / [email protected] for leasing inquiries.

About the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County

The EDC is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic vitality in St. Lucie County through the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses in the community.  The EDC works in partnership with local governments and the private sector to advance its goals of creating more and better-paying jobs for residents, broadening the tax base and improving St. Lucie County’s economic quality of life.  Contact the EDC at 772.336.6250 or


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Feb. 16, 2023|

St. Lucie County Commissioners Schedule Interviews for Six Finalists for the Administrator Job

St. Lucie County Commissioners Schedule Interviews for Six Finalists for the Administrator Job

St. Lucie County Commissioners narrowed down the field of applicants to replace County Administrator Howard Tipton to six finalists, who will meet with county staff, commissioners and the community over a two-day interview process on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27.

Tipton, who spent nearly eight years as St. Lucie County’s eighth county administrator, stepped down on Jan. 12 to become the city manager for Longboat Key on Florida’s west coast. During a special meeting on Jan. 17, St. Lucie County Commissioners, with help from consultant Colin Baenziger & Associates, reviewed more than two dozen applications for the county administrator position and agreed to interview six candidates:

  • Dale "Doc" Dougherty, city manager for Garden City, MI

  • Darren S. Gray, deputy county manager for Osceola County, Fla.

  • Derek R. Scrapchansky, town manager for Topsham, ME

  • Eric R. Johnson, city manager for Norcross, GA

  • George C. Landry, public utilities director for St. Lucie County

  • George M. Stokus, assistant county administrator for Martin County.

St. Lucie County staff will take the candidates and their spouses on a bus tour of the county on Thursday, Jan. 26, followed by a meet-and-greet event with county department directors that afternoon. County commissioners will host a community reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Havert L. Fenn Center, located at 2000 Virginia Ave., for the public to meet the candidates.

Candidates will spend the morning of Friday, Jan. 27 conducting one-on-one interviews with each St. Lucie County Commissioner, followed by a special County Commission meeting at 2:20 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, where all five Commissioners will interview each candidate as a Board.

St. Lucie County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Roger Poitras Annex, 2300 Virginia Ave., to decide which candidate will be offered the position of St. Lucie County’s administrator.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jan. 20, 2023|

IN THE NEWS Summer 2022



VERO BEACH — Lemnature AquaFarms, a plant-based ingredient supplier to the food market, has received a jobs grant as it expands its operations in Indian River County.

The grant was unanimously approved by the Indian River County Commission and pays up to $7,000 per new job created, based on the average wages paid to new hires. At least five new jobs must be created, paying a minimum of 75% of the county’s average annual wage. Based on county staff calculations, the company is eligible for up to $200,000 in grant funds. The award is paid out over a period of 3-5 years, after the jobs are in place and confirmed by county staff.

Lemnature AquaFarms has three locations in Indian River County, including its corporate headquarters, a research and development facility in Fellsmere, plus a large aqua farming and processing operation in western Indian River County. The company anticipates adding 46 employees to its base of 115 workers by the end of the year, at an average annual wage of $59,800, excluding benefits.

“We appreciate and value the partnerships with the chamber and its economic development office, and the board of county commissioners, as we build and scale our highly sustainable, plant-based food business and aquafarm within Indian River County,’’ said Frank Jimenez, CEO of Lemnature AquaFarms. “We believe in building innovative farming solutions to help accelerate the transition to a regenerative food system, while assisting our customers in the achievement of sustainability development goals through a more efficient agricultural process based on aquaculture.”

The company grows and processes the all-natural Lemnaceae aquatic plant, also known as water lentils, which grows in Indian River County. This aquatic plant doubles its biomass every 48 hours so harvesting can be done daily, year-round in the county’s tropical type of climate.

The company will be producing a plant-based protein and fiber to be included as ingredients in superfood drinks, protein powders and nutritional beverages. As a way to promote the company and its mission, Helene Caseltine, the chamber’s economic development director, arranged for the company’s CEO to give a presentation to the commissioners at their regular April meeting.


Rodger Pridgeon, left, and Lonnie Koyama

Rodger Pridgeon, left, accepts the 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year from Lonnie Koyama of the Small Business Administration during the recent 2022 National Small Business Week Summit in Melbourne. SCOTT FINNEY

Rodger Pridgeon, owner and president of Corporate Air Inc., has been named the 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year.

Corporate Air Inc. is a fixed base operator that provides fuel, aircraft maintenance, hangar space and charter jet services at the Vero Beach Regional Airport.

This year’s National Small Business Week awards celebrate the sacrifices and achievements of small business owners and their significant contributions to the economy and communities, according to J. Malcolm Richards, director of the SBA South Florida District.

“America’s entrepreneurs are doing their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback,” Richards said. “Many small businesses were able to successfully pivot and with tenacity and resilience have not only survived the pandemic but have thrived. Corporate Air, under the leadership of Rodger Pridgeon, is a perfect example of such resiliency. These awards honor those in our community who have excelled in business ownership, demonstrating these virtues that are among the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurship.”

Debbie Petrell, senior vice president of Florida First Capital Finance Corp., nominated Pridgeon for the award.

“As one of many in our portfolio of exceptional small business owners, Rodger Pridgeon of Corporate Air soars as a trendsetting entrepreneur and community advocate,” Petrell said. “His leadership, innovation and commitment to the local community, both in the business and nonprofit sectors, is exemplary, and we are delighted he is this year’s award recipient.”

An aircraft maintenance technician by trade, Pridgeon grew up in western New York state and moved to Vero Beach in 1980, working for Chautauqua Airlines as director of maintenance.

Anticipating the airline’s withdrawal from the region, Pridgeon started an aircraft maintenance business on the side, transitioning into a full time job when Chautauqua Airlines closed its Vero Beach office in 1987. What began as a one-man company has grown to an award-winning, thriving business with 15 employees.

Running a successful and growing business wasn’t the only criteria considered for the award. Being an active contributor to the community was also a factor. Pridgeon served on the board of directors of the Children’s Home Society of the Treasure Coast for 10 years, including as board chairman for two years.

“Of course I’m honored to be recognized as the 2022 South Florida District SBA Small Business Person of the Year, but whether I am recognized or not, I will always continue doing what I love to do: Invest in my business, including the people who help make it happen, and in my community, which I love,” Pridgeon said.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

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Jul. 1, 2022|